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The chicken barn
“I am completely mesmerized by the color of the grass,” I tell Dan who is sitting next to me in his Chevrolet red pickup. The road is fairly bumpy and dusty but I don’t pay any attention to it. My eyes are glued to the scenery that slowly unveils as we approach the ranch where he and his wife Jill live.
The closest connection to any country store is an hour away. “And this is the last place to get gas,” Dan adds while pointing at a small shabby-looking gas station along the endless interstate highway that connects us to Rapid City. I cannot help but smile. Even if I still have no idea of what is waiting for me ahead, I already know I am going to really like it.
“It’s my first time in South Dakota.”
“Good,” he says with a friendly smile.
I like the way he speaks. The pace of his words sounds peaceful and quiet. They mimic the appeasing feeling that runs through my body when my eyes catch sight of the yellow rolling hills which surround us as we drive along.
“I cannot believe the weather here either,“I add. “Everyone had told me it was going to be so cold!”
All of a sudden, the long gray winter jacket, the woolen hat and gloves I am wearing feel inappropriate and uncomfortable. I am dying to change into lighter mid-season clothes.
“It can change quickly though, so you never know. It’s good to be prepared.”
I realize that Dan is right when, a few days later, we wake up to 20 F, wind and a light veil of snow covering the plain.
But the light. Oh the light! that colors the Great Plains.
Over and over again.
I’ve never stayed on a ranch before. I’ve never seen buffalo before either. But deep inside, I know one thing: the week I am going to spend in South Dakota to work with Dan and Jill O’ Brien will be amazing.
Jill and Dan O’ Brien are the force and talent behind Wild Idea Buffalo. I am only arrived on their ranch, getting to know them more, that I quickly understand that their vision is not just about selling buffalo meat. T…